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Coroner positively identifies remains of teen who disappeared off Folly Beach

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FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) -

Officials with the Charleston County Coroner's Office say they have identified the remains of a missing teenager who disappeared during a dive with his father off Folly Beach on July 12.

The coroner says the remains of Tristen Allen were identified on Wednesday. The coroner's office has not released information on the cause of death or when the remains were found.

Allen was diving with his father before he was scheduled to go to The Citadel. Samuel Allen said his son went back under the water without a sound and appeared to be struggling to get his diving gear off. Allen said they dove for hours trying to find him.

Allen's family issued a statement on Wednesday and signed by Samuel, Susan and Katherine Allen, reads:

It was with the heaviest possible hearts that the Allen family (Samuel, Susan and daughter Katherine) turned over the investigation and search for Tristen Allen, 18 years old (having just graduated from James Island High School and proudly on his way to The Citadel), solely to the public agencies to continue to look for their beloved son and brother.

The combined agency and private search teams had gathered enough evidence, combined with the elapsed time since the accident occurred July 12, to draw the conclusion that Tristen is not likely to be found alive. The investigative agencies have advised the family that full confirmation may not be available for weeks to come. The search by government agencies will continue for further evidence, but the private search teams have formally ended their search.

Despite multiple rumors and various press coverage, the evidence gathered has not confirmed any new facts that were not previously revealed regarding the tragic events of July 12, 2014. Tristen and his father surfaced after the second dive of the day, just prior to the tragic events that ensued. The family has requested that their wishes to not release further details be honored until the formal investigation is complete.

The search teams involved substantial resources, including both private and public air, boat, and dive teams. The Allen family wishes to sincerely thank all of the government officials who have handled their duties with the utmost professionalism and capability. The family also offers special thanks to all of the private individuals who worked tirelessly, risked their own safety, took time away from their families, and gave all they could to locate their son and brother.

The gifts to the Tristen Allen Search Fund, in addition to the donations of equipment, food, and other resources, allowed a broad spectrum of coverage, both public and private, when time was of the essence. Working in tandem, the governmental rescue effort was ongoing continuously during the private search period and offered both comfort and hope. For that, the family is forever grateful to so many individuals and organizations.

After the final accounting of donations and expenditures, should any excess funds remain, they will be donated to select charities where Tristen was active during his all too short a life. Some of those include: Student Faith Missions, YoungLife and James Island Charter High School Youth Athletic Programs.

Tristen’s spirit has created a wave of unity that only a sustained and spirited effort by the community who worked to save and uphold him could continue. With that in mind, a tribute to Tristen’s life will take place at James Island Charter High School on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm for anyone who wishes to attend.

The formal name of the TRISTEN ALLEN SEARCH FUND will be renamed to ALL THAT IS #41. The Go Fund Me account (http://www.gofundme.com/blnc3c) and the Harbor National Bank Account will remain open to receive donations for these causes. All additional funds will be used for the above charities. A formal 501c3 will be established to continue to do honorable work in his name.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to all who expressed care, concern and love during the last 11 days. It is through that support that they were they able to continue on and ask everyone who knew Tristen and his boundless spirit, which lives on in all of his extended family, to help keep #41’s spirit alive.

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